I’ve just discovered a wonderful resource for readers of Russian: is a website designed for English-speaking people who are studying the Russian language. It began life in 1997 as The Russian-English Literatures Exchange, which was hosted at UC Berkeley’s Open Computing Facility. My student account had rather limited disk space quota, however, and as a result, the original website stagnated. Now, at its new location, I’m able to include more literary works and incorporate new features, such as the collaborative translation section.

The main page has a list of over twenty authors whose works are on the site, from Karamzin and Pushkin to Sholokhov and Nabokov, and there are all sorts of special features that make it even more useful: for instance, you can search by the English definitions of Russian words. Searching on “#inquisitor” (the # is used for English definitions) brings up Nabokov, Chekhov, Dostoevsky (of course), and Gogol.

(The introduction says “When you encounter a word that you don’t know, position your mouse pointer over it to see its English equivalent. For a more detailed description, click on the word,” but this does not work for me; I presume you need to download something.)

There is also a Polska prasa section with “newspaper and magazine articles from the Polish press, covering topics ranging from politics to popular culture.”

Update (August 2019). The site is long dead; I’ve replaced the main link with an archived one, but you’re on your own for the rest.


  1. Thank you very much; terrific site.
    Small question: how their Russian-English dictionary is composed? Not on alphabetical principle for sure; by explaining diffical words as they appear in the text? But what one finds difficult is very clear to the other.

  2. Even though my Russian has been dormant some 45 years, my sense is that the site needs some work. To translate Pushkin’s “я писал” as “for me”, “piss” rather than “I wrote” or
    “может быть” as “can be”, “be” rather than “perhaps” seems a bit sloppy.
    Still, it’s a fun site and a good idea.

Speak Your Mind